EVAC: the Emergency Volunteer Air Corpssm

Short Guide
Relief Efforts
The EMP Threat
Pilots' Tax Issues
Conference 2023


The Emergency Volunteer Air Corps promotes and coordinates effective and useful additional General Aviation volunteer participation in emergency relief efforts, especially following disasters. 

To jump past the news items directly to additional information about EVAC click here.


Coming Shortly!  Information about the Thunder Run exercise of the West Coast General Aviation Response Plan (WCGARP), including a video!  Watch this space.  We are also preparing information about COVID 19 relief flights that tranported PPE, test kits, and vaccines.

December 17, 2022  NORTHWEST EVAC page has again been updated with new information about preparations and participating organizations to provide relief flights following Cascadia Subduction Zone disasters.

March 15, 2019  Updated for Oklahoma and Midwest Floods - read on and click this link to our Current Relief Info page.



Working with the Air Care Alliance, EVAC has prepared information related to emergency relief efforts, including for events such as Hurricanes Harvey, Gustav, and Katrina and the prior 9/11 attacks and emergency response, as well as the 2004 Tsunami and 2010 Haiti earthquake efforts.   If you wish to help in such a situation, please read the guidelines we have published on our Current Relief Info page.

Prior News Items:

August 9, 2017:  Peninsula Daily News article on multigroup, multiagency disaster preparedness exercise including a floatplane training component!  Seaplane operations, community resource providers, and emergency services planners came together to help pave the way for a better future for Jefferson County in the state of Washington. 

Excerpt from article: East Jefferson Fire-Rescue medics Alex Morris and Reese Chambers carry a 120-pound dummy to the beach to use for an emergency exercise at Kala Point on Wednesday. (Article and Photos by Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News) ​

see the story posted on the NORTHWEST EVAC Page along with more recent exercises and events!

Special Page for the California Pilots Association DART program.  Cal Pilots is organizing Disaster Airlift Response Teams at airports throughout the state and encouraging DARTs in other states.   Visit it at the link under its name or in the menu at the left.

Special Page for the VIRGINIA VOLUNTEER PILOT GROUPThe VVPG has organized a statewide plan to incorporate volunteer pilot groups serving Virginia into their official Disaster and Emergency Planning structure.  Visit it at the link under its name or in the menu at the left. 

TV News Video: "Seaplane pilots could save lives during a disaster"  July 15, 2016, by Mark Miller. KOMO NEWS, Seattle, Washington
see it posted on the NORTHWEST EVAC Page!


About EVAC:  

     EVAC Volunteers fly to help others! During emergency situations EVAC pilots and other volunteers provide the resources of General Aviation to help affected people and communities. While such help can be organized quickly on an ad hoc basis, it is better to plan beforehand so that lines of communication are clear and available resources are already identified.

In addition, operations are safer and more efficient if periodic exercises are conducted. Such events also help local emergency services agencies understand how to best utilize pilots and aircraft at their local airports, and show the entire community how General Aviation can help during emergencies.

     Note that the largest volunteer group involved in emergency aviation assistance is the Civil Air Patrol, a large national organization affiliated as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.  CAP members also provide essential search and rescue services, fly some law enforcement support missions, and conduct extensive cadet training and aviation education activities.  The Civil Air Patrol has a long and proud history of service to the nation.  Click on the CAP link above to learn more about how you might enjoy participation in CAP activities.  You should also visit the American Red Cross site for more general information about how volunteers can help their communities.

     Conversely, EVAC is intended to operate on a more informal, grass-roots level.  EVAC volunteers work at the local level with local agencies, and devise simple programs designed to involve pilots, airport businesses, and others in very basic preparations for disasters and other emergency situations.  Such efforts have already proven very helpful throughout the history of aviation, as discussed in our Introductory Manual described below.  

     EVAC is a Member group of the Air Care Alliance, a national coalition of volunteer-based public benefit flying groups which lists all of such organizations flying in the United States.  Members include various Angel Flight groups, Volunteer Pilots Association, LightHawk, LifeLine Pilots, Childrens Flight of Hope, Flights for Life, LIGA, and many more.  Click on the ACA link above to see the complete list, including links to the groups' own home pages.  The Air Care Alliance was founded following a national conference on public benefit flying, AIR MED 90, held at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland in 1990.  Since then ACA has held national meetings and workshops annually and also presents seminars at many public events, including AOPA's annual exposition.

     Most of the Air Care Alliance groups fly regular medical transportation missions for needy patients, or transport organs for hospitals.  Many also help in other programs, too, such as flying Make-A-Wish type missions or participating in special airlifts, such as those taking needy city children to special camps.  Some like LightHawk provide vital conservation and environmental support using aircraft.

     EVAC provides guidance and operating manuals to the ACA groups, too, to aid them in providing additional valuable assistance during emergencies in the regions where they operate.  Since EVAC first presented a seminar on this subject at ACA's Air Med 90 conference we are pleased to see that most groups have developed emergency relief programs.  We encourage volunteers to investigate and register with all groups in their operating area that might provide opportunities to help others!  Click on the link above to find out about groups flying medical or other missions in your area.     

     EVAC has been working and growing for almost thirty years, with leaders operating in several areas of the country. It originated at Santa Monica Airport in California, and acts as an overall national advisory organization, encouraging the use of general aviation volunteer pilots and aircraft to help following emergencies at the local, state, and national levels. 

     Through EVAC's work with the Air Care Alliance groups, the importance of such a program is spreading nationally and has led to the adoption of emergency preparedness programs by many of the groups listed by the Air Care Alliance.  If you wish to learn more or register for possible volunteer participation in the future, please contact the national office as shown below, and provide your mailing address.  EVAC will also list other local aviation groups  involved in emergency assistance, so if you know of such groups please tell us about them. 


A priority mission for EVAC volunteers is
transporting emergency service workers to
areas affected by disaster during the first hours.

Resources:  See our Introductory Manual for a longer description of the EVAC program 
See our abbreviated operations guide for airport associations, volunteer pilot organizations,  and other groups which may have an immediate need to conduct emergency relief operations.

     Note our special page on the EMP threat for information on this real possibility for widespread disruption to the world, our nation, our communities, and our own electronically dependent lives.

Essential Safety Resource for Pilots and Organizers:
     The Air Care Alliance and AOPA Foundationís Air Safety Institute have released a new Public Benefit Flying Online Course.  The course, named "Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion," is a highly professional online course designed for volunteer pilots and staff members of public benefit flying groups to become familiar with safety and operational issues.   Read about it and follow the link to it at

Taking the course will lead to a completion certificate for Wings credit ... and make all operations safer.

The Volunteer Pilot Call Sign "COMPASSION" is available to highlight the purpose of your relief flights.  See the description and procedures for use on the ACA website at 


Pilots registered by EVAC and EVAC partner organizations flying qualifying flights may apply for issuance of their individual COMPASSION call signs with the identifier CMF.

See "Disaster Circus, A New Model for Disaster Response"
"The Alpha Plan"
Articles on emergency preparedness planning 
by Lt. Col. Joseph DePaolo, CAP Ret.
See also prior article:
"Wings for Recovery"


Pilots - See the Air Care Alliance Page on FAR's and Tax Deductions.
     The FAA says voluntarily flying patients for nonprofit groups without compensation and taking a proper tax deduction for approved expenses is perfectly OK! 

Important Planning Documents: 
FAA Advisory Circular 00-7C - State and Regional Disaster Airlift
Download and View ac00-7d.pdf PDF Format   4 MB [ Prior Version]

FAA Advisory Circular 00-59 Integrating Helicopter and Tiltrotor Assets Into Disaster Relief Planning
Download and View ac00-59pdf PDF Format  5 MB
Alternate: Link to HTML version

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Manual
Volunteer Pilots - Recommendations for Enhanced Safety - 1998
Download and View Manual in PDF Format   471 kb

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